Is slow fashion Sustainable?
Slow fashion is sustainable as it promotes buying clothing made of durable fabrics and avoiding the throwaway and disposal culture.
When I started practicing sustainable living I have learned about fashion and its patterns of consumption have big environmental effects. It inspires me to pause and think about how to switch with my trend following habits and thinking around timeless fashion.
Over a few years, I have seen slow fashion grow. I’ve seen it evolve from being a form of revolution to become an act of change.
What does slow fashion mean exactly?
Before the industrial revolution, garments were locally sourced and designed. Clothing reflected the place and culture of the people wearing them. While Modern-day Fashion endorses disposal culture and easy access to celebrity-inspired outfits by way of cheap designer dupes.
The slow fashion brings back the age-old approach into the picture as it encourages consumers to buy fewer garments at higher quality, and emphasis on the art of clothes making and celebrates the skills of the craftspeople who make them.
Slow fashion is sustainable:
Slow fashion involves using pesticides free cotton, or natural fabrics, natural dyes used for various colors, water, and waste treatment, energy reduction, using recycled materials, and biodegradable packaging. Along with how the cotton(raw material) was grown to how the garment workers who made the clothes are treated and their safety (fair wages, no sweatshops, child labor, worker abuse, or slavery involved).
How Sustainability Works in Slow Fashion:
Sustainability is mainly composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social— commonly known as profits, planet, and people.
Sustainability encourages slow fashion to frame choice in terms of environmental, social, and human impact for the long-term as well as short term. These choices influence slow fashion to consider more factors than simply the immediate profit or loss involved.
Sustainability goals such as commitment to zero-waste packaging by a certain year, to reduce overall emissions by a certain percentage, cutting emissions, lowering their energy usage, sourcing products from fair-trade organizations, and ensuring their physical waste is disposed of properly and with as small of a carbon footprint as possible.
Here are examples which shows slow fashion is sustainable:
The concept of slow fashion tends to be highly personalized and encourages the consumer to examine not only the end product but the origin of items purchased. Slow Fashion enquires into the nature of the product and the way it was produced. A sustainable slow fashion encompasses the aspect of transparency since there are no wrong or unjust ways in the production and selling processes.
Slow fashion concern for the conditions under which people work, in satisfying the consumption of goods and services. Slow Movement is not a stand-alone process; it has become a part of the social transformation throughout time. Slow fashion focuses on the greater consciousness of how products are designed and manufactured. Many people are unaware of the demerits of the trendy fashion; the economy, the workers, and the environment pay a heavier price than the product bought at. Slow fashion targets the greater consciousness of how products are designed and manufactured, concerning the conditions under which people work, and a negative impact on the environment.
Big brands plan their strategies according to consumers’ spending habits. Being a consumer comes with responsibility along with the privilege; one has to consider making mindful decisions while shopping. Opting for slow fashion does not necessarily include expensive organic products; turning towards local artists and the market is also a great alternative. Retailers need to grow conscious of the products sold by them and whether they contribute to pollution and climate change. And the consumers who choose conscious help boost the local economy, fair trade, and good labor prices.
4. Unique Style
Fashion was always meant to be a personal expression of individual style. Due to rapid commercialism, the core idea of individualism in fashion got distorted. It brought a transformation in the fashion industry; it created carbon copies of the original clothing that is produced in mass now. Slow Fashion transcends the notion of simply being fashionable and embraces clothing as an expression of oneself; those products should be elegant, durable, and perceived as an investment. It also serves as an extension of our personality and beliefs.
Slow Fashion identifies by the type of clothing, not by the type of store. Pertaining to that, unique and personalized services cannot be provided by any mass-producing brands and markets. It helps cater to the needs and expectations of customers. This also happens to create a key competitive advantage for slow fashion against the commercial market. Moreover, they bring other opportunities for local designers; for example, tourists look for local designs rather than the brands, followed by a distinctive personal style.
Slow fashion encompasses the feature of quality which is prioritized more than the quantity of the products. It stands apart from the cliché characteristics of the fashion industry which thrives on the quantity of the products as per the fast consumption rate. The former represents quality, durability, and lasting value, and also, given to the factor of sustainability. Timeless pieces integrate the unique nature of high-quality fabrics under the umbrella of slow fashion.
What are some sustainable fashion brands?
Slow fashion is sustainable and it makes a point that it’s ok to wear an outfit more than once along with shop mindfully and reduce consumption,
It is an eco-ethical alternative to the mindless running behind trends and losing one’s sense of individuality. The perspective tries to spread awareness among people to avoid fast and unnecessary consumption of products, which is also a waste of money, quality, and environmental standards.
We, consumers, become conscious about our purchases and are making a positive difference for the people involved in the making of our clothes and goods as a result Slow fashion brands are emerging that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices.
The brands we have listed below are some of the slow fashion alternatives to fast fashion companies. Each one has made it a fundamental part of its mission to address fashion in an ethical and transparent way that considers both people and the planet.
Slow Fashion from India
India has a huge influence on how our fashion is made globally. We are also a huge consumer market. Our generation of conscious consumers is no longer content to buy into brands without first doing their research. while sustainability has long been considered the epitome of unconventional style, new generation brands are re-stitching sustainability into everything they do and how! Whether they are sourcing organic fabrics through collectives empowering female workers or transforming vintage saree into lavishly contemporary dresses, theirs is an approach to mix environmental sustainability and luxury fashion.
Here’s a look at 5 Indian Sustainable fashion that is influencing real change.
Upasana founded in 1997 is working towards making fashion accountable to society and contributing to fashion in innumerable innovative ways. Healing textile is just one of them! The healing textile is a holistic blend of organic cotton and the healing powers of curative Ayurvedic herbs – Tulsi, Sandal, and Neem. These herbs not only give the fabric its medicinal benefits but also their distinctive colors! Wearing these garments is a therapeutic experience for your skin.
Upasana is trying to find immortality in a fashion not considering the harmful impact this can cause the environment.
The label Ka-Sha is a way of celebrating Indian craft and foster a sense of utility and value for the material. The label aims to re-interpret materials based on current needs and functionality.
Upcycling being the core value of Ka-Sha, it endeavors zero waste which they rightly call “Heart to Haat”. It thrives on ideas of waste management using their skills as designers to recycle and up-cycle to create functional products that re-interpret materials based on current needs.
Ka-Sha’s designs celebrate handicraft, in all its forms, adding individualistic expressions to each product. Ka-Sha has bold usage of colors and materials in the most stylistic way.
No Nasties is the first India brand to be PETA licensed. All their pieces are 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), 100% fair trade, and 100% Vegan cotton clothing! They have a No Nasties Grove, where they plant a tree for every online purchase, every email sign up and every single day in business and they have planted 7,433 trees to date. Remember that every time you make a purchase, you’re casting a vote to see more of what you want in the world. Buying organic and fairtrade means supporting farming communities globally and creating a healthier planet. Buy a T and get a TREE!
Doodlage is to produce garments that are completely upcycled. Their raw material is 100% factory refuse fabric.
At Doodlage, they approach circularity holistically. They create these pieces with fair wage units or ethical spaces, little scraps are patched together to create scrap to fab collections. They do not let even the tiny minuscule bits of fabric go waste too! The remaining bits are turned into paper for stationery products and tags for their products.
Bodice in 2011 to create the future of Indian fashion by using elements from the country. Bodice practices artisanal processes spin out beautiful high-quality textiles with the longevity of use, and classic designs with a twist. The bodice is making preloved clothes fashionable again. If buying preloved clothing doesn’t become the new normal or mending old clothes continues to be frowned upon, we will continue to build mountains of fabric and garment waste which will not decompose for another 200 years. These ideas have to reach beyond a niche.
Slow Fashion from London
London is a fashion capital, but luckily London’s Sustainable brands are working towards making things better. Using responsible materials and sustainable methods, with artisan workers being paid a proper wage, these clothes are made to last far longer than a single season. So treat yourself to a guilt-free swag! From high street fashion to British designers to vintage stores you’ll find something to suit your style and budget. And don’t forget all the sustainable options!
Lowie is a London-based sustainable women’s wear brand with two standalone stores in Herne Hill and Crystal Palace, South London. Inspired by natural fibers and traditional handicrafts, Lowie re-interprets heritage garments in a totally modern way. Sustainability is close to their hearts and with every collection; they’re doing their best to give you products with environmental credibility.
Lowie proudly offers free repairs for life so you get to love your pieces for longer.
P.i.C creates the multifunctional conscious capsule collection. With just eight pieces combined together, these can create more than 50+ outfits. The vision is to create a contemporary capsule wardrobe that is timeless, space-saving with a limited impact on the environment. This is “thoughtful fashion”; Slow fashion. Even the pieces are named after London areas! P.i.C uses fabrics that are locally sourced, sustainable, and organic or select stock material.
Age of reason
Age of Reason is a UK luxury print label with an emphasis on quality, sustainability, and ethics. Born as a scarf studio, the brand recently began to evolve by adding clothing and homeware. It is designed by Ali Mapletoft, a former London filmmaker. They’re on a mission to change the way the industry approaches high-end fashion and interiors by proving luxury can be ethical, inclusive, and playful.
VIN + OMI
If you are in a mood to try some innovative textiles, VIN + OMI- a leading international Eco-Brand- is the place to go to! Along with all their other sustainable and eco-friendly products, they produce textiles from nettles and cow parsley and flax. VIN + OMI’s distinct style mixes strong prints, bold silhouettes, and wide-ranging textures alongside impactful slogans.
Madia & Matilda
Madia & Matilda is a unique luxury clothing label, specializing in upcycled and sustainable fabrics. Madia & Matilda is based in the beautiful Cotswold’s founded by Shalize Nicholas. Each piece is handcrafted with care, turning old garments and remnants, into new designs, or designing new garments with sustainable fabrics. Madia & Matilda share a passion for beautifully created clothing, which prolongs the longevity of the lifespan of a garment, leading to a less wasteful world.
Henri focuses on expertly tailored, 100% organic cotton, shirts, trousers, and jackets. The majority of the organic cotton used by Henri is certified by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). Fabrics are either hand-woven on traditional Indian wooden looms or machine woven in France. Hand-weaving gives a beautiful texture of the fabric – a human touch – something that can’t be achieved with machines! Also, don’t forget to take part in their shirt-making workshops!
Slow fashion from Bali
Bali is much more than great weather, pristine beaches, local flair, flower power, great cuisine, pampering resorts, lively festivals, and warm hospitality. Yes, Bali is a shoppers paradise for sustainable brands.
You can rejoice in the best shopping experiences at Bali, where you can find stores for beauty and skincare products to unique homewares, antiques, delicately carved jewelry, wooden sculptures, and woven and dyed fabrics. Here are a few sustainable stores where our eco-warriors can go binge shopping!
Threads of Life
Threads of Life is a Fairtrade gallery in Bali that works directly with over 1000 weavers on 12 islands across Indonesia, utilizing culture and conservation to alleviate poverty. They commission heirloom-quality textiles and baskets made with natural dyes and help weavers form independent cooperatives and manage their resources sustainably.
Lulu Yasmine is a fashion label handmade in Bali, focusing on delivering unique products and empowering the local community. They use natural fabric but not so natural dying because they have to deal with what’s available on the market and they do not have the latest eco-technology in Bali. They hope to produce fully sustainable products in the near future but for now, they deliver very high-quality standards products.
Eleven44 produces quality long-lasting minimalist basics for men and women made only from organic cotton or sustainable textiles. They work with the cottage industry in Bali to create slow fashion produced in small batches made by hand, using fair trade. Textile waste is managed by donating to the home industry that makes floor mats and also cleaning rags. They also create stunning statement heirloom jewelry using recycled metals.